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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Saints and Zinesters: Fandom and Legacy in the Zine St. Sucia

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

This article considers how the visual discourse in the printed zine St. Sucia (2014-2018) materializes the performed identity-making essential to young feminist queer Latinas in the twenty-first century. Founded by artists and friends Isabel Ann Castro and Natasha I. Hernandez, the South Texas-based zine forms a multi-authored space where queer feminist Latinx simultaneously embrace and rewrite familiar cultural codes. Through the figure of the fan, i.e. a passionate devotee, this article analyzes the zine’s subversion of La Virgen de Guadalupe.

By using a fandom methodology to understand St. Sucia’s engagement with La Virgen’s iconography, this article analyzes the cofounders’ personal reiterations of the cultural figure of La Virgen de Guadalupe—a strategy implemented by their queer Chicana artistic predecessor Judy Baca in the work Las Tres Marías (1976). In dialogue with Baca’s strategy, which it both honors and complicates, the St. Sucia cofounders remake La Virgen as Saint Sucia. Within the context of active and resistant engagement with preceding Chicana/o visual codes, this article posits that Hernandez’s and Castro’s shifting self-presentations in the Editor’s Notes of St. Sucia’s first and last issues reflect these processes, responding to the materialization of their patron saint and attesting to the communal inscription of Saint Sucia’s identity.

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